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24 Books That Encourage Early Literacy

Reading to my kids has always been one of my favorite things. Snuggled up on the bed or couch under a blanket, staring into their excited faces as I read, that's a pretty great way to spend an afternoon, even if they do sometimes demand that I read the same book ten times.

While you're reading (and rereading) that favorite book, did you know that you are also teaching your child early literacy skills:

  • Tons of new vocabulary! The more you read to them, the more words they will be exposed to.
  • Understanding how books work: how to hold a book, turning pages, print going left to right
  • Helping to build motivation, curiosity and memory
  • Creating a positive association with learning and reading

Here are 24 of my favorite books for exposing your kids to early literacy, broken down into categories.

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ALPHABET

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Touch Think Learn: ABC by Xavier Deneux

ABC Mindful Me by Christiane Engel

ABC For Me: ABC Love by Christiane Engel

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NUMBER SENSE

Pete the Cat and his 4 Groovy Buttons by James Dean

How Do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague

Little Owl's 1-2-3 by Divya Srinivasan

Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3

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COLORS

Baby Colors by Rachel Hale

Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass

Mouse Paint by Ellen Still Walsh

Splatter by Diane Alber

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BODY KNOWLEDGE

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

Hello World! My Body by Jill McDonald

Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body by Tish Rabe

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ANIMALS AND ANIMAL SOUNDS

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle

Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? by Dr. Seuss

My Big Animal Book by Roger Priddy

The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

You are your child's first and most important teacher. You are the one who will give them their first impressions on the importance of learning and expanding their worlds. The books above are all well-loved by my family, but honestly it doesn't matter what you read. Just read with enthusiasm, do all the silly voices, and make it as fun for you as it is for them. If you can do that, you won't just be creating memories, but also enthusiastic readers who never stop learning!

♥ Erin